The final production version of the innovative Renault Twizy concept has been revealed at the Paris motor show.
Renault says the compact (2320mm long, 1191mm wide, 1461mm high) all-electric Twizy offers scooter-like performance around town but with increased safety and protection.
The fundamental design of last year’s Frankfurt show concept has carried over into production, including that car’s gullwing doors.
The Twizy has space for two occupants sitting in tandem and has an enveloping body to help keep the elements out. Additional lower body panels can be fitted to offer increased protection from the weather.
A lithium-ion battery powers a 20bhp electric motor. Peak torque of 42lb ft is available from 0rpm to provide “crisp and brisk” performance for the 450kg Twizy in traffic; its top speed is 47mph, while some markets will also get a 28mph version.
Its range is claimed to be 60 miles and a full charge takes three and a half hours. It is charged using an on-board retractable cable stored beneath a flap at the front of the vehicle.
Customers will be able to customise the Twizy’s design, something showcased in the three Paris show cars, which have been fitted out in special Renault Design liveries.
Safety equipment on the Twizy includes a driver’s airbag, a four-point harness in the front and a three-point safety belt in the rear. The outboard position of the four wheels and lateral beams either side of the chassis help protect the occupants in impacts, including those from the side. Disc brakes feature all round.
Despite being registered as a scooter-like ‘quadracycle’, there will be no legal reuiqmrent for the occupants to wear sfartey clothing or crash helmets. And as it won’t be registered as car, it won’t qualify for the government’s £5000 electric car grant.
The Twizy will reach UK showrooms in the first quarter of 2012, costing from around £6000.